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Turkey is a 'vital ally' with legitimate security concerns, says NATO head

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND - MAY 24: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on May 24, 2022. ( Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attends annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on May 24, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Turkey is a "vital ally" which has legitimate concerns" about terrorism.

"When a vital key ally such as Turkey raises concerns about terrorism then of course we have to sit down and take them seriously," Stoltenberg said during a joint press conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö. "And that's exactly what we do."

He added that no other NATO member state has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. "These are legitimate concerns. This is about terrorism, it's about weapons exports. We have to address the security concerns of all allies, including Turkish concerns about the PKK terrorist group." The NATO head stressed that Turkey also plays an important role in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group.

Asked whether an agreement will be reached about Sweden and Finland being able to attend the NATO summit in Madrid on 29-30 June, Stoltenberg said that efforts are being made to respond to Turkey's concerns as soon as possible. He welcomed what he called the "clear message" coming from Finland and Sweden that they are ready to discuss Turkish concerns.

Finland's president said that his country does not have a different attitude towards Turkey's concerns when compared with those of other NATO member states.

READ: Sweden seeks constructive progress with Turkiye over NATO bid

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Europe & RussiaFinlandInternational OrganisationsNATONewsSwedenTurkey
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